Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pics Finally

Here is a pic of my niece Cassandra. She was showing my something on the computer..Barbie dress-up or something..

Here is me and my buddy Jim. A very nice guy and he's pretty handy. He's doing all the finishing work in his new house. And I do mean all of it. When I showed up he was putting flooring in the upstairs bedroom. We had a couple of beers and chatted for a few hours before I had to hit the highway.

Blurry but here is a pic of me and my great-aunt Dot. She is the cutest isn't she? We are both standing btw and I'm 5'2. I'm telling ya' it was like a Leprechaun convention in that kitchen. She has lived within the same square mile in the city for her entire 96 years. The first 50 years in the house she grew up in and the last 46 1/2 in the house she's in now. We had a nice little visit and she was thrilled to see me. 
I've tried my darndest to fix the blur in this pic in Photoshop but I think it's a lost cause.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trying a New Header

Feedback anyone?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nutn' honey

So I've been Blogger-inactive lately. On Saturday Mags picked up Adobe PhotoShop Elements 7 and I must say, I'm addicted. I've been making headers for Mags blog and I'm going to try and rework mine tomorrow. Other than that I haven't been doing much. I did go to the eye doc for my annual exam and..I need reading glasses. Bummer right? Nah.. I can hande it. Weird thing is I wore glasses from early in my childhood until my late teens. Then I didn't. I told Mags this and she told me I probably didn't really need glasses as a youngster, I just got a doctor looking to make a buck, or he was just really bad at his job....I was even in bi-focals at 16?? What the fook? "So," I says to Maggie, "I was tortured all those years for my dopey glasses and I didn't even need them?"
"Sorry baby, looks that way. You're eyes don't just get better over time. They'd get worse."
Damn. I mean I really got my balls busted. I didn't help that my mother got me those thick black frames ala the Far Side. Add to the fact that I was in a large back brace from neck to hip and that made for a very unpleasant childhood. 
So anyways...I just got a call and the glasses are ready. I'll go tomorrow I guess and get them. They were reasonable. I went to Pearle and they are incredibly outrageous. The pair I got for 149 at Cohen was very similar to the pair at Pearle and they wanted 325!! Keep 'em buddy.
Weather sucks today. Two inches of snow overnight (and yes school was cancelled) then turned to rain. Still raining and very dense fog as the temperature is dropping like my stock in the PetRock company.
Mags has a dose of something so I took her to the docs and then to LuckyStar for some great Chinese food for lunch.
We popped into see her folks as they are on the way home and had a cup of tea with them. We were there last night for Bubs birthday and I did a few little things around the house for them. 
So that's the big exciting update...I know I lead a thrilling life...
Stay warm....

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's About Time

Announced last week that former Sox outfielder Jim Rice received the honor of being elected to Baseballs Hall of Fame.

James Rice is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball and a Baseball Hall of Fame-electee. Rice played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox from 1974 to 1989. An 8-time American League(AL) All-Star, he was named the AL's Most Valuable Player in 1978 after becoming the first major league player in 19 years to hit for 400 total bases, and went on to become the ninth player to lead the major leagues in total bases in consecutive seasons, and join Ty Cobb as one of two players to lead the AL in total bases three years in a row. He batted.300 seven times, collected 100 runs batted in (RBI) eight times and 200 hits four times, and had eleven seasons with 20 home runs, also leading the league in home runs three times, RBIs and slugging average twice each.

In the late 1970s he was part of one of the sport's great outfields along with Fred Lynnand Dwight Evans, who was his teammate for his entire career; Rice continued the tradition of his predecessors Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as a power-hitting left fielder who played his entire career for the Red Sox. He ended his career with a .502 slugging average, and then ranked tenth in AL history with 382 home runs; his career marks in homers, hits (2,452), RBI (1,451) and total bases (4,129) remain Red Sox records for a right-handed hitter, with Evans eventually surpassing his Boston records for career runs scoredat bats and extra base hits by a right-handed hitter. When Rice retired, his 1,503 career games in left field ranked seventh in AL history. Rice will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26, 2009, as the 103rd member to be elected in by the BBWAA.

There is so much more to Jim's great career, this is just a small sample. For more info check out

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Raising A Bunch of Wusses

Okay. Like I said earlier I just got back from the frozen tundra of Rhode Island. I was sitting at table having tea with Mims when the conversation turned to the cold. My mother peered over the paper and said so very matter-of-factly "Oh yeah. It was so cold they cancelled school."
"What? Are you freakin' kidding me?"
"Well Connor, it was very cold."
I thought on this for a bit. "Ma, I walked to junior high in this weather (the school department deemed us too close and wouldn't send a bus) and school was like... a mile away! What, they don't heat the schools any more?" This got me going. When I was in high-school, we came from blocks around to gather at the bus stop and wait for the school bus. And yeah, it was fuckin' cold. (we just grabbed a steel garbage barrel from the basket ball court and built a fire) It's New England people! It gets cold in the winter!! School here has been cancelled because of cold recently but I just chalked that up to the New Jersey school kids being spoiled little pricks. I mean the busses here pick you up at your door practically. My tax dollars hard at work. And I think last year it was "the books are too heavy.."  Whaaaaa?
Cold canceling school? Books too heavy? What's next? "Ooh it's raining...We don't want you guys to possibly get your 298 dollar Uggs/Nikes wet." 
"Too windy, oh that will surely muss your hair."
We're raising a country of wusses. Can you see us at war in like seven years when these guys are out of school? Huddled in the desert, weapons at the ready..somewhere in a cave a SAT phone rings and President Obama asks the latest Crazy-Ass Terror cell leader of the moment if he could possibly hold off on the war until the sand storm ends because, well..our boys don't want to get grit in their teeth or hair. 
Sweet Fancy Moses.....

A Trip North

So last weekend I ventured north to see family and friends. My trip was uneventful, a nice surprise for a Friday mid-morning/early afternoon through New York and Connecticut. My most pleasant surprise was that I encountered no construction in Connecticut. The odds of this happening are as great as having Madonna on my iPod. Aint 'gwan happen son.
So this lightened my trip a bit. I cut off 95 north to 395 north into northeastern Connecticut to see my friend Jimmy and his family. He fled Rhode Island into western Connecticut and built himself a house. A very nice house. and if I could ever be motivated to get a USB cable for my phone, you could see the pictures. Tough luck for you.
I spent an enjoyable two hours there and then hit the highway to my moms in Rhode Island. 
If I whined about the cold here, it was simply worse there. Really cold. I don't know how I tolerated it for all those years. But I digress.
Visiting family is tricky for me. I have limited time and members of my family think I should spend it all with them. I still have people I need to see. My good friend Chris is nearby and I always make it a point to swing by and see him and his family. I've known the guy over 20 years and there is not much more enjoyable than sitting down to watch a Bruins or Sox game and having a few beers with this guy. 
I also got to see my father's aunt, my great aunt. She will be 97 in June. I took pictures but again, USB cable...
When I woke Sunday morning the snow was flying and I kinda felt like crap. Sore throat, achy. My mother later informed me that Cassie had been sick for a few days. Okay so now I suppose I'm sick. I had some hot tea and then packed up the car. The snow was falling heavily and had accumulated to over 5 inches since midnight when it started. The streets were a mess but I figured the main roads and highways would be clear. Ha! Silly rabbit. This is Rhode Island and you would think they would oh I dunno, scrape the five inches of slush off the roads. At the very least do the highway. Hmmph! Usually I can be from my mom's house in Warwick, to the Connecticut state line in about half an hour. maybe 45 minutes. At 25 miles an hour in five inches of snow/slush this time differs greatly. It took me over an hour to get to Connecticut where, apparently, they have snow plows and aren't afraid to use them. The road cleared considerable and after about ten miles I was able to hit the pedal and cruise at my normal speed. I breezed right through NYC and the George, which was another surprise. 
Safely home, my wife made me a little lunch and then I sacked out, having only 3 hours sleep the night before. Who drives five hours in heavy snow after only 3 hours of sleep say you?. Me.
So the trip was shortened by a few hours but that's okay. I got to squeeze in a visit with all the important people. 
Pictures to follow. Stay warm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There Are Two Ways To Enjoy the Snow....

The right way....

and the wrong way....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guess Who's Enjoying This Weather More??

Why Must I Live So Far From the Sun?

So I ventured out today to do an errand or two and discovered that is approximately 4 degrees outside. You'll notice, or you may not, the widget on the side of my blog saying it is like 23 degrees here. (Now please fight the urge to come and find me based on my weather widget, strong....)
Well, that temperature is without the gusting winds. The 'wind-chill' factor, which is what the temperature 'feels' like, is about 4. Yes four. quatro, and not Audi Quattro. four. Four freakin degrees. 
I know I could have it worse. I could live up in the Great White North like Raymi where it is  probably, I dunno, 70 below. Snowdrifts that are as high as houses, polar bears roaming the streets...Okay maybe I'm stretching it with the polar bears....
I am no longer built for this shit. I'm still built the same way, but I just think that I'd like global warming to speed it up a little. I enjoy wearing a pair of shorts and a tshirt. Not three layers of insulated clothes, a knit hat, jacket, boots...noI need the spring and the warmth it brings. Why can't the Earth be hit be a meteorite and just 'bumped up' a little in the Solar System? A little closer to the sun? Really, as long as the meteorite hit a  desolate and unimportant place on the globe, such as say, Australia, would it be awful? Of course, if it landed in America the government would find a way to tax us and then once we got closer to the sun, we'd be paying a 'convenience' fee to NASA or some shit. 
Look, the easiest way to rectify this dilemma is to win the lottery and move to the Caribbean. Aah..warm sunny days, cold beer on the beach....crap then there's hurricanes and bugs....
Oh man, forget it. Pass me my mittens would ya?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dinner Brought to You by...Well....Me

Tonight I got a nice dinner together for Mags and Meself. I made up a dish of bruschetta with some crackers for an appetizer, a nice Spring mix salad with vine-ripened tomatoes and then I breaded some Tilapia filets for our entree. Served with asparagus with a homemade CreamyDijon sauce.
For desert I whipped up some cream brulee.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is Carjacking Really Bad??

So Unemployment has me home nowadays. I enjoy being home during the day. It allows me to spend time with the boys, to do a little cleaning and make some dinner for Mags who works so very hard during the day.
Being home also allows me to pursue one of my favorite past times. Video gaming. Yeah I know..I'm soon to be 40...but there is something about the escape of a video game that is so relaxing. It all started way back in the 'Pong' days and continues today. Although when I was in my teens I really spent alot of money in the video arcade. I was a junkie. Hey, Asteroids. Need I say more??
Nowadays I'm happy to spend a couple hours a day crusing through San Andreas. This game is so awesome. And it's huge! Meaning the layout. The sheer size and complexity of the game. The many vehicles you can fly, or drive...and of course the carjacking and drivebys. The game industry has come so far since I've discovered video games. Wait, am I'm aging Meself there?
Seriously, nothing soothes the unemployed soul like moving down a bunch of Ballas or cruising through a massive, fictional state in a low-rider, listening to some 80's West Coast Gangsta rap...
Woooo...too cool. 

Another post?? Yes, But This Needs Saying

Living in New Jersey we, by 'we' I mean the good hockey loving folks who are Devils fans, are used to a very high standard of talent from the boyos in red. We've got Marty, Patty Elias, hell, they're all good. Thanks to the Devs brain trust and the wily hockey knowledge of 'Sweet'  Lou Lamoriello; we have been treated to some really good hockey over the years. Really good.  Since 1994-1995, they've won the Cup 3 out their 4 times in the Finals, which is pretty good and second in that category to only the Mighty Red Wings, who did it 4. And the Cup they won in '95 was over the Wings....but anyways. 
Last night I did a final check of email and my wife heard me mutter 'Holy Crap"
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong....It's good news. Brendan Shanahan is coming back to Jersey."
Yes. Brendan Shanahan who started his NHL career back in the '87 88' season with the Devils will be rejoining the squad this month. Nothing has been ironed out yet, but it will happen.
Over his almost 20-year career Shanny has put up some really good numbers. Let's take a look shall we?
1,490 games played 650 goals and 690 assists. that's 1,340 points. Almost a point a game people.
And that's not even his playoff stats. So things are looking good for the Devs, who are still in third despite being without Marty.
Shanahan was quoted as syaing "I'm really happy to be staying in the Northeast. My family is here and I'm even happier to be coming onboard with the Devils."
When asked about his parting with the New York Rangers, he spoke of problems with their 'salary cap' and was even heard to mutter "fuck the Rangers...New York blows..."* So there you have it.
So here's hoping the second half of the season gets even better for the Devils.

p.s. Side note. Shanny was actually Lou Lamoriello's  first draft pick as a GM for the Devils.

* Shanny never really said that. I just put that in because I hate the Rangers.

Wednesdays Dinner.

Okay so this is a before and after photo-shoot of dinner I made on Weds. What? You think I just vacuum and play ball with CrazyDog??

The recipe was pretty simple.
 You'll need the following.

a.)  3 - 3 1/2 lb piece of chuck roast or bottom rump whatever...
b.)  6 baby red potatoes halved
c.)  some baby carrots.
d.)  1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10 oz I think)
e.) a pack of Liptons onion soup and dip mix.
 f.) I minced up a little Leek and added a pinch of Herbes de Provence but that's up to you.

Set up your slow-cooker CrockPot thinger & pour in the soup and soup/dip mix and mix it all up.
Add your 'tatoes and carrots, cover them and then add the meat. Cover the meat thouroughly and then set your cooker for between 7-8 hours.

The flash made the 'after' picture look weird but it is really tasty.
An F.Y.I though. If you have a problem with salt, use only half of the soup mix. It is LOADED with salt.

Open cold beer and enjoy. have to drink the beer to really enjoy it. But you probably know that...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Not Working, But Keeping Busy

So I'm into my first full week of unemployment and it is really not too bad. I'm home all day with the boys (Chainsaw and CrazyDog) and that is a real treat for them. Usually Mags and Meself are working all day, so they are loving having Daddy home with them. Or...I think they are. Well the dog is. He's kinda clingy and he'll often follow me from room to room. Usually if he knows I'm going to the kitchen he'll be especially attentive in hopes of a treat.
The cat, however is another story all together. He's....well... a cat. He wants attention when he wants it and really the only time he really wants attention is feeding time. But I digress....
Today I ventured out early to avoid traffic and the approaching nasty weather that's going to hit us this evening. I hit the local grocery for some foodstuff and then off to Loews for some home goods. I hit the post office on the way home and once home, put groceries away, changed our furnace filter and then hooked up a dimmer switch in our kitchen. Honestly, we have a really nice fixture over our country table, but if you get up sick in the middle of the night and need tea and flip the light on it's like being in an interrogation room. So I flipped the breaker and hooked up our new 3-way dimmer. And so far the switch works fine, the circuit hasn't flipped and there is no smell of smoke. So I guess I did good.
Then I cooked up my sausage and pepper dinner. Served over a little pasta..yum. I have no plans for tomorrow yet except maybe wash the hardwood floors. And play ball with the pooch of course.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Won the Freakin' Lottery!!!

Not really..but it got your attention.
I spent my first day as a member of the swelling ranks of the unemployed today. I really didn't do a whole lot. I stayed home because I was waiting for my severance package to arrive via FedEx. It actually came UPS and at like 5 o'clock. I tore into the envelope because I thought there would be a check or two in there. Silly me. Check is in the mail. The actual mail. I am not shocked, really. The severance statement was about 5 pages long and I have to sign it. Then I need to send it back to Boston. Then I get my severance check. By the 16Th I'm told. No 'stay-on' bonus like we were told we'd get.  Only the folks in the office got that. They're special. 
So this chapter of my work-life is about to close. I'll be relieved when it is finally done. 
Today I cleaned the house a bit. Laundry, dusting, vacuuming, cooked a nice dinner..... (I am available at a completely reasonable hourly rate btw.)
Touched up the resume...entertained the dog.....I'm very versatile...
So Monday I'll call unemployment and go on the dole.
Hopefully something good comes along soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Well here it is 2009. Yesterday I closed the door at my place pf employment for the last time. I knew it was coming since April. It was still kind of a shock. The four of us that were left came in at 8 or so, did some more cleaning and by 2 everyone but me was gone. I took one last stroll through the place, checking all the  doors were locked but to really have one last look. 
The head of the Mass. site was there on Monday, but he only stayed for a few hours. He shook our hands and thanked us for all our hard work. And work hard we did. The four of us that were left, busted our asses. We loaded trailer after trailer. We loaded several flatbed trailers outside in the rain and bitter cold because the company could save a few bucks by having us do it rather than having the company that took our racking down do it. One day was driving rain, two days later the temperature was below freezing. 
We packed all the computer equipment from the office, all the furniture, filled dumpster after dumpster and finally yesterday we finished. I ran the 'Zamboni' floor cleaner a few times over our empty warehouse and then I turned out the lights. 
It was sad because of my familiarity with the place, all the cool people I had worked with, the routine...I'm hoping we, like the office staff, will get decent severance and a 'stay-on' bonus. But I'm not holding my breath. One of the great downfalls of this site was the office staff was treated so much better than the warehouse/workroom staff. We didn't even get to see our H.R. guy. Instead we will be getting our info by FedEx.
But now the New Year will bring me some change. Hopefully in the form of a new job. Hopefully better health for Mags. Maybe the future will be so bright I gotta wear shades...